Compare and contrast the purposes of jails and prisons
Jails and prisons are the two types of institutional facilities for confining people convicted of crimes. Jails are for prisoners who await trial or are convicted of minor crimes and aim to hold prisoners for a short period of time (Siegel and Bartollas, “Chapter 7” 6). Prisons aim to both punish and rehabilitate offenders who have committed serious crimes by removing them from society for a long period of time. In addition to the length of stay, jails and prisons differ on the institutional level, with jails being run by local authorities and prisons operated by a state or federal government.
If you were the sheriff of a local jail, what architectural style of jail would you prefer and why?
The new and fourth-generation jails seem to be the best solution for designing a modern local jail. They aim to create a more secure and humane environment based on total supervision, interaction between prisoners and staff, and access to modern multipurpose facilities.
What are some of the most serious issues you would be facing in the United States today?
The three most serious issues that modern jails are facing are overcrowding, violence, and mental health placements. Overcrowding caused by the excessive use of jails results in the lack of privacy for inmates, increased rates of violence and self-harm, and exacerbation of mental health problems (Siegel and Bartollas, “Chapter 5” 25). The increase in violence can result in riots, which threaten the overall jail security, and the placement of mentally ill criminals in regular jails poses major challenges for both staff and inmates.
Your jail is meeting the minimum program requirements. If you could implement more programs, which program do you think would be the most important to implement in your jail, and why?
A health care program addressing some of the most crucial issues faced by inmates seems to be the most beneficial. It should aim to help prisoners with mental health challenges, drug addiction problems, chronic and commutable diseases (Siegel and Bartollas, “Chapter 5” 23). Providing basic health care services for people incarcerated in jail can help them bear jail time better, improve their well-being, facilitate a proper and humane attitude towards the convicted, and create a safer and healthier environment.
What was the Hands-off period in Corrections? What do you feel were some of the issues during this period? What case was instrumental in ending this period in Corrections?
The Hands-off period in the history of Corrections was shaped by the Supreme Court’s policy of withdrawal from regulating internal prison affairs and protecting prisoner’s rights. At that time, the system was based on the idea that prisoners lose their rights when they are incarcerated, and correctional institutions can make more informed decisions about prisons than courts. This doctrine led to the emergence of a number of issues, such as discrimination, overcrowding, mistreatment, and disease outbreaks that were not properly addressed by prison officials due to the lack of judicial control.
This policy lasted until the 1960s when several cases brought this problem to the attention of the Supreme Court, and changes began to be introduced. The Procunier v. Martinez case was the first case where the court interfered in an internal prison affair. It treated the problem of correspondence between inmates and its censorship. The Supreme Court decided that prisoners should not be allowed to exchange correspondence for the reasons of prison safety. This case marked the start of the transition towards the regulation of the relationships between inmates and prison administration by the Supreme Court and its involvement in prisoner rights violations.
Why is it difficult to stop sexual assaults in prisons? Can they be controlled? Why is it difficult to control sexual assaults? What is done to inmates that commit sexual assaults?
Sexual assaults in prisons occur either between inmates or between correctional officers and prisoners. They are a result of bad policies, low security, and the lack of accountability among prison staff. They are hard to control because of social constraints, discrimination, and a lack of transparency. Prisoner-on-prisoner assaults are rarely reported because of the fear of reprisal from the perpetrator. In the case of guard-on-prisoner assaults, the balance of power between officers and incarcerated women makes it nearly impossible for them to report abuse. In 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act was introduced that aimed to deter the sexual assault of prisoners through a zero-tolerance policy.
It was the first step towards the control of sexual assaults in prisons that aimed primarily to collect data and assist in funding state problems (Siegel and Bartollas, “Chapter 7” 15). It does not introduce any general rules of punishment for people who commit sexual assaults in prisons, leaving the measures to be taken against them for individual prison’s authorities to implement. In order to stop sexual assaults completely, significantly reduce, or control them, the prison system needs to be reformed profoundly, and the system of prevention and punishment needs to be developed.
Discuss the pros and cons of minimum-mandatory sentencing
The minimum-mandatory sentencing system provides judges with a set of minimum sentences to issue based on the nature of the crime that the defendant committed. It also means that a convicted criminal needs to serve a sentence of specific length before becoming eligible for parole or release. Its pros include its potential to stop unjust sentencing practices and eliminate personal bias (Siegel and Bartollas, “Correction Today” 145). Its cons are the uniformity of sentence regardless of the circumstances of the crime and the challenges of its application, including misuse.
Siegel, Larry, and Clemens Bartollas. “Chapter 5. Jails and Houses of Correction.” Correction Today. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2018, Presentation.
—. “Chapter 7. The Prison Experience: Males and Females.” Correction Today. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2018, Presentation.
—. Correction Today. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2018.